Yes, it’s that time of year when the UEFA European Footballer of the Year award is handed out. On Thursday, either Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Andres Iniesta will be crowned as the best player on the continent over the last season. The voting will be done live at the Grimaldi Center in Monaco by journalists representing UEFA’s 53 member states and yours truly will be on stage presenting the awards ceremony.
It will be the seventh time that I will have the privilege to host UEFA’s annual awards gala and Champions League draw in Monaco. Over the last few years I have seen a lot of drama on stage and I predict a few more "oohs" and "ahs" on Thursday evening when the groups are drawn for the tournament's lucrative first stage and when the winner of the top prize is announced. FULL POST
With the Olympics afterglow now starting to fade, football is stepping back into the breach to fill the sporting public’s thirst for entertainment.
The big question has been, in Britain at least, whether the positive vibes created by the buzz of athletes giving their all for victory will survive now that the focus has returned to a group whose behaviors have generally been decidedly more questionable.
An Olympian who trips at the last hurdle is usually applauded for having a go, but spoilt millionaires whose off-field indiscretions are regularly reported in the tabloid press don’t get much sympathy when they writhe around on the pitch trying to con match officials. FULL POST
With the new European club football campaign upon us, it’s time to look into the future and predict what the new season will bring.
Can last season's champions maintain their momentum? Who will be the key players, and what will be the main stories of the 2012-13 campaign?
Here are my picks for the continent’s top five leagues; have your say in the comments box below. FULL POST
Two major championship wins at 23 years of age: Rory McIlroy’s validation as a world-class golfer continues to grow and grow.
He has become the sixth youngest multiple major winner in history, and how timely that he pushes Tiger Woods to seventh on that list, eclipsing him by a mere five months.
McIlroy is not targeting Woods' records however and is emphatic when discussing his own potential to carve out a distinguished career: “I mean, I've won my second major at the same age as he had. But he went on that incredible run like 2000, 2001, 2002 and won so many. FULL POST
Chelsea sign Gazprom as a new energy partner. Inter Milan sell a stake in the club to Chinese investors. Manchester City bank a record sponsorship deal with Etihad.
Yes, many of Europe’s top clubs are already looking for ways around UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
What UEFA wants to do is easy to understand. European football’s governing body is aiming to level the playing field and stop the rich becoming richer, and the poor becoming poorer. FULL POST
Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Mike Tyson, David Beckham and even Tiger Woods!
I’ve been fortunate and truly blessed to have interviewed some of sport's biggest names one-on-one, but for years there remained a glaring hole in my professional resume.
Or rather two glaring holes: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. I’d have taken some time with even just one of them, but the two of them together and the chance of a first ever trip to Las Vegas? Not something I was about to pass up! FULL POST